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GamesFirst! Magazine

E3 Preview

In reply to the question everyone’s asking: winter. That’s when Neverwinter Nights--the 100-hour 3-D accelerated AD&D game that also includes a do-it-yourself world and adventure editor allowing 64 players to play online while you DM--is due out. That’s an awfully ambitious game, and that’s why when they say winter they don’t mean December. They mean like next March, though I can easily see this one slipping to next summer. That being said, it will be worth the wait.

Neverwinter Nights will contain a 60-100 hour single-player adventure written by the folks at Black Isle, but that’s just to get your feet wet. The most impressive and revolutionary thing about NWN is that it allows you to be a digital DM by using the Neverwinter Tool Set (which contains all of the 3rd Edition AD&D rules and monsters) to create dungeons and stories that you can then spring on unsuspecting parties of adventurers. The game is nothing if not dynamic and open-ended--as DM you’ll be able to tweak your dungeons and take over NPCs in real time, and you can also download adventures created by other players, so in theory NWN game offers the same inexhaustible amount of gameplay that the paper and pencil game does.  

Except that it looks one hell of a lot better. NWN is gorgeous—when your character takes a walk through the woods, sunlight streams through the branches as leaves fall and your armor glints. Though it’s clear from our run through the game that a considerable amount of work remains to be done on at least some of the graphics, when it all comes together NWN is astonishingly beautiful and immersive. This one’s a must-have for all D&D players, and will no doubt help sustain the D&D comeback occasioned by the release of the 3rd edition rules.

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Rick Fehrenbacher


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